Corona infection at the dentist: How high is the risk?

For anxiety about a corona virus infection, many people have avoided a visit to the dentist in recent weeks. In the meantime, the offices are starting to fill up again, but some people still stay away from the visit. The result: more caries.

For fear of a corona infection, many patients in Bavaria avoid a visit to the dentist. On average, only one or two patients a day came to the practices during the lockdown. However, according to dentists, it is precisely there where hygiene rules are followed. For those who still shy away from going to the dentist, there could be consequences.

Those who do not go to the dentist endanger their dental health

If, for example, caries is not treated, this can have an impact on the patient’s health. Caries can develop within a few weeks into root inflammation or an abscess that must be treated in hospital.

Hygiene in dental surgeries

The dentists in Bavaria seem to be doing their homework. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, the German Dentists’ Association had drawn up general hygiene rules to protect patients. According to experts, the measures based on guidelines from the Robert Koch Institute already worked well during past flu waves.

In the corona pandemic, the risk of a sars-CoV-2 infection at the dentist is considered low if the hygiene measures are observed. Special protective masks, gurgling and gloves are prescribed in the practices.

Coronavirus: Avoid droplet infection

In addition, to protect the practice teams, fine water vapours that could spread viruses from the patient’s mouth are currently being avoided. Such fine droplets (aerosols) are produced by the use of dental equipment with high speed or ultrasound.

According to the recommendation of the German Dental Association, aerosols can be minimized by using other devices, for example, slower drills. Although this means that treatment with constant suction takes a little longer – it is safer for the employees.

Preventive treatments possible again

Until recently, in many practices, appointments for dental cleaning were only made in exceptional cases. But now more and more patients no longer want to be without such preventive treatments. Doctors think this is a good idea, because prevention is extremely important, especially when it comes to dental health.

Author(s) Source
Schwerin J von Bayrischer Rundfunk,
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